Wichita Trinity is off to its best start since it finished the 2007 baseball season as the Class 3A runner-up. After sweeping Chaparral on Monday, Trinity improved to 9-1, and it is no accident.
Trinity coach Dave Martin went through two consecutive 10-10 seasons of revamping and refining, in which freshmen- and sophomore-heavy teams improved by making errors, fixing them and starting all over again.
Last season Martin started six freshmen. Martin said each player is now about 25 pounds heavier and a year wiser.
Trinity's No. 1 starter, Alex Cole (5-0), played on that 24-win squad that went to state as a freshman, and he played on those 10-win teams that struggled to find an identity. He knows why his team is off to a 9-1 start this season.
"The seniors in my freshman year kind of ruled with an iron fist. They told you what to do and you were expected to follow it," Cole said. "It kind of went downhill and the leadership wasn't that demanding. This year the other seniors and I just wanted to bring that back discipline back. We just wanted to bring back that work ethic we had in 2007."
Kody Fewin, a junior pitcher/catcher, has also stepped up to the challenge. He's batting around .700 and combined with teammate Josh Merrill to throw a no-hitter in a 5-0 win during Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader.
"It was exciting, going out there without knowing what's going to happen and trying to keep the no-hitter going," Fewin said. "I was pumped. My blood was rushing and my adrenaline, too. I was excited and ready to throw the next game if the coaches would let me."
Martin knows he has a well-rounded team that has learned through trial and error how to do the things necessary to win, but he doesn't want it to get too ahead of itself. Trinity has tough doubleheaders against Independent (9-3) and Medicine Lodge (11-1) remaining on its schedule.
"I'm looking forward to the last half of the season," Martin said. "I want to see if we're pretenders or contenders. We've got some pretty tough games coming up."
League title on the line — With its 5-4 win over Kapaun Mount Carmel on Tuesday, Bishop Carroll (12-1) set the stage for its doubleheader against Northwest (11-0) Friday night to count for more than just bragging rights.
The City League lead will be on the line. Both are 10-0 in the league.
Northwest's Tevin Kendall will enter to game wanting to make a statement.
"I really want to get the sweep against Carroll," Kendall said." It would prove things to other people that say that we haven't beaten anybody."